Sometimes working on just one key for a while can be beneficial. Today I practiced a bit on concert A major – on tenor sax this is B major, which does not lay well on the horn for me, mainly due to my deficiency using the side A# fingering. Also, it’s more difficult for me to visualize the 7 modes in this key than compared to concert Bb major.
After singing and playing over an A drone for a while, I came up with a simple melody that moves down through the 7 modes of concert A major by diatonic step (all over an A drone). For rhythmic interest, each melody is played first as all dotted quarter notes (a 3 over 4 grouping) and than in 8th notes. I started by singing the exercise until it was easy to hear and visualize and than put it on the horn.
There’s a PDF with the melody for C, Bb and Eb below.